The Jokester's Chaser

by Paul Jennings

It is rare that a concept - and certainly a type of music - doesn't have a Wikipedia entry, but the "chaser" has this distinction. So we will tell you that a chaser is a short piece of music used to follow a comical musical number, skit, or other vaudeville act, often with motifs derived from the song itself. It provides a way to get the performers off the stage, and is often cartoonish in style, so that the comedy of the previous act is sustained.

Here, we wanted to provide an appropriate way to follow the song "Tell Me A Joke." It was fun to write and is hopefully fun for your students to hear, as it calls on the musical feel of many of the classic cartoons a lot of us grew up watching.

As the music suggests, let your performers bow, exit, enter, bow, exit, enter, etc., over and over to coincide with the music. All or most students could do this for a chaotic effect, or just use the joke tellers for a more controlled bit. Split them into groups, some bowing, while others exit and enter, maybe leaving one hammy jokester who refuses to leave and just keeps bowing and inviting accolades. In any event, plan and rehearse the actual moves to avoid unintended collisions.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.